First off, apologies to those whose emails I have not answered yet and for the paucity of updates over the past few days; things have been unusually hectic.
Second, and of more interest to those who are not particularly concerned with the ins and outs of my schedule, a couple of recent additions to the library.
The first of these is Bernard Joisten's recently published book on Argento, Crime Designer. I have not got all the way through it and my French is admittedly limited, but there are nevertheless enough names and reference points to make it a worthwhile read for any Argento fan.
While some of the intertextual connections such as the painters De Chirico and Magritte were familiar others, like fashion photographer / fellow “crime designer” Guy Bourdin were new. Maitland McDonagh does refer to Bourdin's Vogue colleague Helmut Newton in passing at one point in reference to an Argento murder scene (“Pics by Helmut Newton.”) but does not really explore the theme as Joisten does. (And Argento did, after all, stage a catwalk show inspired by the opening moments of Suspiria, so the connection is not just the critic angling for obscure reference points; see also some of the Bourdin wallpapers on his website.)
The second is another back issue of the late lamented European Trash Cinema, the interview issue with Steve Bissette Cannibal cover. I got a laugh when I opened this, as it was wrapped in some pages of The Daily Mail. To explain for younger and / or non-UK readers The Daily Mail is the mouthpiece of right-wing little England that was instrumental in mounting the moral panic that led to the banning of Tenebre amongst others and, albeit indirectly, gave the films and the culture around them a significant fillip.
>As far as the magazine itself goes, while the Barbara Bouchet profile covers similar ground to the one in Giallo Pages, it was the first to be published and – an argument I would say also pertains to the interviews with the likes of Antonio Margheriti and Sergio Stivaletti – the more the merrier. Besides the sheer value of the information within them, it is also the way they work as time capsule, whether Margheriti lamenting the state of the Italian film industry or Stivaletti talking about Trauma, then in pre-production.
I am sure I am not alone in wishing there was some way to get all this material back in print, that we lived in a world where an English-language Argento on Argento, Fulci on Fulci or Freda on Freda was viable. Unfortunately as it is we do not even have the full version of Spaghetti Nightmares...